Do You Know Everything About Universal Health Care?
What is universal health care?
World Health Organization (WHO) defines universal health care as every individual in a community's access to quality health service without undergoing any financial difficulty. The health service will provide facilities that will ensure
- Health promotion
- Preventive measures
- Palliative care
The basic aim is to provide a top-notch medical facility to everyone without burning a hole in their pockets. Thus universal healthcare aims to improve overall health and reduce the death rate in general.
Universal health care is a part of the sustainable development program. Sustainable development is an all-round welfare system that focuses on future-oriented goals- adequate resources for the next generation, better environment, stable economic conditions, eradication of hunger, and so on.
Let us get into the details a bit to understand exactly how universal healthcare works.
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Things you need to know about Universal Health Care
1. Is universal health care free?
The purpose of this system is to make health care accessible. However, on a sustainable basis, it is not possible for the state to provide free services.
2. Is universal health care about health financing?
Although health financing is an aspect of universal healthcare, it is not just about that. It includes other components as well- the delivery of health service, information and communication technologies, health workforce, research and development in health technologies, and efficient legislation and governance.
3. Is universal health care only about individual treatment?
The universal healthcare system is not just about individual treatment. This system includes programs that are population-based: public campaigns to spread awareness on health issues, water treatment to ensure safe drinking water supply, proper drainage system, clear the breeding grounds of harmful insects like mosquitoes.
Is it possible to measure Universal Health care?
Despite different infrastructure and health facilities in different countries, the WHO with the World Bank has formulated some parameters through which it is possible to measure the coverage provided by the universal healthcare system. These are
- The part of the population that has access to essential services.
- The part of the population who spends a large portion of their income on health services.
There are 16 essential services, which are divided into 4 broader sections, which are used by WHO as the indicator of the level of coverage by the universal healthcare system.
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1. Reproduction, maternal and infant care.
- Family planning programs
- Child delivery and antenatal care
- Ensuring full immunity of the infant
- Health information-seeking behavior necessary for pneumonia
- The treatment of transmittable diseases
- Treatment for tuberculosis
- Treatment for HIV
- Treatment for hepatitis
- Prevention of malaria through the usage of bed nets that are insecticide-treated.
- Ensuring proper sanitation
- The treatment of non-communicable diseases
- Treatment and preventive measures for high blood pressure
- Treatment and preventive measures for an increase of the glucose level in the blood
- Screening and detection for cervical cancer
- Complications and diseases caused due to consumption/smoking of tobacco
- Access to medical facility and health service
- Access to hospitals
- The ratio of health workers to the total population in an area
- Common people's access to medicines that are essential
- Basic health security
The role of WHO in the universal healthcare system
According to the 1948 WHO constitution, health is declared as one of the fundamental human rights. Universal health care is based on this idea and tries to ensure a worldwide goal where quality healthcare should be accessible to everyone.
WHO along with other global and national organizations, are working in different countries to help them reach the goal of universal healthcare by providing them with necessary resources and aid.
Access to health care is a necessity for the overall development of a society. However, with the skyrocketing cost of health facilities, it becomes difficult for people belonging to the lower-income group to access proper healthcare. The advantage of universal healthcare is, it ensures that healthcare is not only accessible to the privileged section of society. Thus universal health care system is the goal every state must strive towards.